The Blade Artist

The Blade Artist

Book - 2016
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"Jim Francis has finally found the perfect life--and is now unrecognisable, even to himself. A successful painter and sculptor, he lives quietly with his wife, Melanie, and their two young daughters, in an affluent beach town in California. Some say he's a fake and a con man, while others see him as a genuine visionary. But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered son he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge. But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies--and, most alarmingly, his former self--Francis seems to have other ideas. When Melanie discovers something gruesome in California, which indicates that her husband's violent past might also be also his psychotic present, things start to go very bad, very quickly. The blade artist is an elegant, electrifying novel--ultra violent but curiously redemptive--and it marks the return of one of modern fiction's most infamous, terrifying characters, the incendiary Francis Begbie from Trainspotting."--
Publisher: London : Jonathan Cape, 2016
ISBN: 9780224102155
Branch Call Number: FIC WELSH I


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Jul 28, 2016

Unlike some of Welsh's more sprawling novels that follow the lives and misadventures of various Edinburgh ne'er-do-wells, this book is all Begbie, all the time, though it jumps back and forth in time and location to kind of tease out the underlying "can a leopard change its spots" story.

It certainly had its moments- Franco's obsession with Rod Stewart attending his art show opening, and total indifference to anything else about it, had me laughing- and as long as the book teases out just how he will react to being back on his old stomping grounds there is an interesting tension.

Ultimately I was disappointed, however, particularly by the ending which I shan't spoil here, though I felt it made some too-easy choices...and then took them a wee bit too far.

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